Thursday, 13 August 2009

My Case Against The London Bus Drivers

This morning it rained cats and dogs. I had earlier gone to Chelsea very early in the morning on an important and urgent personal business and while I was coming back home under that heavy rain, I was confronted with two demons that I never bargained for. The front and back tyres of my bicycle got punctured up to the tube level.

This does not happen to bikers all the time. In fact it happens once in a blue moon and when it does happen it is usually either the front or the back one. By now you must have perfectly understood my frustration when I had my own baptism of fire. I felt like a newborn child abandoned under a heavy rain in a very cold winter morning. As a result of the puncture I was forced to stand under that rain filled with anger and frustration thinking of what to do, not even minding the rain which was busy unleashing her anger on me from here and there and yonder as if am a convicted rapist.

At that point in time, there is really nothing I could do because from where I was to my house is about 5 miles and because it was raining, it was not going to be easy because many would there be thorns on the way. The only option I was left with was to ask London Bus drivers to allow me enter the bus with my bicycle.

Of course I tried even though I was aware that entering the London Buses with Bicycle is strictly prohibited. However bearing in mind that mine is more of a special case, I stopped about three of them and they all bluntly refused citing the prohibition as their cardinal reason.

I was never disputing this section of the law that prohibits bikers from entering the bus with their bicycles but what am seriously disputing is the naivety, stupidity, lack of common touch and lack of common sense being exhibited by London Bus drivers in enforcing this law.

Laws are made for a reason and they are not actually made to inconvenience people. What the laws are supposed to do to humans is to be a guide for them on their everyday life and never to be a lord herself on them. It is purely because of this that it is often said that Law is made for man and not man for the law.

Similarly when laws are passed in the parliament, the judiciary is given the latitude and leverage to interpret the law the way they think it would fit and suit people and work well for them. The meaning of this is that they are allowed to play with the laws passed by the parliament and to use their whims and caprices to apply common sense in any law so that it will have a human face. It is because of this reason that the judiciary is considered the most intelligent arm of the government. It is also based on this that people think that the English is very soft and liberal. No, it is never! Anyway law and punishment that has no provision for human touch and feeling is not worthy to be.

It is this common sense and ability to apply natural judgement to situations and arrive at a good conclusion that London Bus drivers lack in quantum. As an environmentalist, I left my house to visit a friend with my bicycle in order to offset my carbon footprint and while coming back home, my two tyres got punctured and despite the fact that it was raining as it has never rained before the three drivers I stopped refused to carry me. Where is the wisdom there? It seems that respecting the law is more important to them in apposition to saving me from any mishap?

Frankly speaking there is a case of stupidity, error in judgement, lack of common sense and lack of human feeling and compassion here. Common sense should have told them to pick up this young man, if not for anything but for the fact that it is raining heavily and that alone could put his life in jeopardy. Also the fact that apart from the rain, I have as well two punctured tyres should have pushed them to do something and that something is exactly what none of them did, hence my pouring out my bitter emotions through this medium.

Heaven would not have disappeared if any of them had carried me. Hell would not have swallowed them if one them had stopped to render a helping hand; but throwing caution to the wind to abandon a tax payer is not only a sign of irresponsibility but also that of stupidity, lack of respect for human life and utter disregard for the value of what a human life stands for. Somebody in my condition could have ended up getting cold, stricken down by thunder or even get hurt by falling debris since the heavy rain was accompanied by a heavy wind.

Driving London Bus is not a profession. It is a vocation. People are called to drive people and therefore there should be certain qualities expected of someone who wants to be a London Bus Driver. He should be considerate, compassionate, tolerant, accommodating and must have in quantum human feelings, the ability to discern and judge and use his common sense to solve common everyday questions.

It is a fact that London Buses are not allowed to carry bikers, but what happens under a very excruciating and rare circumstances? This is how you know a good bus driver. He must be able to use his common sense and not just using it but also applying that common sense to solve impromptu and urgent problems. Therefore the three drivers who refused this morning to carry me obviously forgot their common sense at home before coming out. They went too far and beyond what the law allows them to do.

I do not see any reason they should not have carried me under such a difficult circumstance and bearing in mind that am one of few thousand Londoners who are climate-friendly and who use their bike to offset their carbon emission, they should have rewarded me with a very big and welcoming part on the back by wasting no time in allowing me in with my bike.

It is therefore with broken and disappointed heart that I call on the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson to look into this aspect of law that guides the London Bus drivers with the view of reviewing it so that stranded cyclists could be given a helping hand when they encounter a very difficult circumstance.

From Chelsea to my house is about 8 miles and to and fro makes it about 16 miles. How on earth do stakeholders in the transport sector expect me to carry my bike home under such a hard and difficult circumstance? I was actually lucky because I had less than five miles to do before getting home when the two tyres got punctured. What would have happened if it had punctured just at the start of the journey? Am I expected to carry my bike that way and do 8 miles? You guess is likely to end up being as good as mine.

This is completely unacceptable and that is why the Mayor of London must as a matter of urgency do something. Doing something does worth it because bikers are contributing a lot in offsetting the carbon footprints in London and making it one of the most environmentally friendly places on earth. Health-wise they also save the government money because due to the nature of their daily commuting they are fit and healthy and rarely fall sick. This alone saves the NHS millions of pounds yearly.

Bearing this in mind, why should the government not do something to solve this problem? It is really painful especially what I went through this morning as a result of meeting those three commonsenseless drivers who have no iota of respect for others in them.

No comments:

Post a Comment